A surprisingly insightful article appeared recently in Cracked online: "4 Stunning Revelations An Idiot Has About Running". Author Robert Brockway describes in hilarious fashion his discoveries:
Brockway explains that last observation via a gaming metaphor, "You're leveling up your bodies." Specifically:
... now that my body (kind of) does (almost sort of) work (a little bit), I actually do get to see the improvement in return for the work. It's pathetic, small-scale, incremental improvement, but it is improvement. And that's something I can deal with, because I've played these games before: You start out puny and insignificant, crawling around the dumps and sewers, just looking for rats to slay. But if you keep at it, concentrating on finding the fun where you can, and beat enough of those low-level monsters, someday you'll find yourself cleaving Liches in twain with ease. And you'll look back at the ratter days, covered in the blood and ichors of those foolish enough to oppose you now, and you will laugh.
Precisely. It's the same point that John Parker, Jr. made in Again to Carthage: "... if you're doing it right you are an organism constantly evolving toward some agreed-upon approximation of excellence ...". What the Greeks called arete, and the Romans termed virtue. Be all that you can be. Excel. Achieve. Level up.